Changes to Medicare in 2020

What you need to know about member IDs, deductibles, and Medigap plans.

by Christine Schneider

Billing Medicare can be dizzying work because of the multiple updates to policies from year to year, and sometimes even from month to month. In 2020, there are changes to Medicare that will affect your billing if not handled correctly. Below are three changes to make note of now, so you hit your stride on January 1st.

 Change to Medicare Member IDs on January 1 

  • You must submit claims with the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). CMS will reject claims submitted with the Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN), with limited exceptions.
  • You must submit all eligibility transactions with the MBI. CMS will reject all eligibility transactions submitted with the HICN

Changes to Medicare Deductible for 2020 

  • The Part B deductible will increase in 2020 from $185 to $197. For those who collect Social Security or Railroad Retirement Benefits, this amount will be automatically deducted from your monthly benefits check.
  • The Part A deductible will increase from $1,364 to $1,420 in 2020. For most people, Part A is premium free.

Changes in Medigap Plans

  • The Medicare Access and CHIP Re-Authorization Act of 2015 eliminates all Medigap Plans that cover the Medicare Part B deductible.
  • These changes only impact beneficiaries who aren’t “Medicare-eligible” until after 2020. Patients who turned 65 prior to January 1st, 2020 can continue to enroll in these first-dollar coverage plans after they have been discontinued.
  • Patients with a first-dollar coverage plan can remain on that plan. They don’t need to make any changes to their coverage unless they’re simply comparing benefits and/or rates to see if there’s a better plan.
  • Patients who are Medicare-eligible before 2020, but don’t enroll in Medicare Part B for one reason or another until after 2020, can still enroll in a first-dollar coverage plan to supplement Medicare benefits.
  • Beneficiaries not eligible for Medicare until after 2020 have alternatives to keep out-of-pocket costs low. The only difference between the alternative plans and first-dollar coverage plans is the Part B deductible, which is $197 for 2020.

For more information, visit this website for the Medicap Coverage Chart for 2020:

https://www.naic.org/documents/committees_b_senior_issues_exposure_medigap_plans_sold_after_200101.pdf